Friday, May 4, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Slept in and then continued our eating spree. After breakfast, went shopping and then to the coffee shop for a quick Mocha and Hot Chocolate. We were then entertained in the Piazza by Russian ballroom dancers. I took a picture of Priscilla with them. We went to the Solo travelers Meet for Afternoon Tea. I sat next to Jeraldine Saunders who gave us a sheet about a new book that was just coming out today about her. It’s called the Love Boat Lady. She was Julie McCoy on the Love Boat for real, many years ago. We lost at 2 trivia’s and Jeopardy today but we’re having fun. The show tonight was Vocalist Claude Eric. Tomorrow is formal night.
Having so much fun almost forgot to write this blog. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale without any incidents, walked right up to the counter and were ushered onboard. Our fixed (traditional) dining was in the “Anytime” dining room and it is for a table of 4. We’re trying to get that changed. We lost at trivia 3 times. More fun tomorrow.
Friday, April 20, 2012
I'm getting ready to leave on a 14 day Transatlantic Cruise, stopping at the island of Madeira (Portugal); Rome, Italy; Lucca, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco but I'm taking an excursion to Nice, France; and finally getting off at Barcelona, Spain (off the ship and straight to the airport). Our flight goes from Barcelona to Munich, Germany to Dulles/Washington, D.C. and then back to Orlando. We leave Barcelona at noon and arrive in Orlando a little after midnight. I'm traveling with great friends, Seldon and Sheila Kates and my roommate, Priscilla Reisinger. I'm so excited and can't wait to get started. Bon voyage.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Arriving at Greenland and the first thing you see is an iceberg and a pretty small town. This is our only tender port. Diane and Maria decided to stay onboard and so Dan, Eileen, Priscilla and I went into town. Priscilla and I headed to the store and after acquiring the hat and lapel pin I wanted, proceeded to wait in line 45 minutes to pay for it. When will I get here again, I kept saying. The store was so crowded and hot but we both managed to survive it. We then roamed around the small town. It reminded me of the small towns in Alaska. The local children performed native dances and played music. I did get some video. The weather was sunny but cool. A couple of hours in town was all we needed and then back on the tender to the ship. I think it was almost lunchtime and dare we miss a meal. I must admit I have been enjoying the food. Besides getting three meals a day, I do try and get to having one scone at tea time (3:30 p.m.) Ran all around the ship in the afternoon to get some shots of the icebergs and the town. Haven’t seen the Northern Lights. I would hope the Captain would make an announcement if they were visible.
Two days at sea and then we should arrive in Greenland. Nothing much to report. No sighting of whales. Losing at trivia continues but usually only by one (we have to learn not to change answers because we always change them from the correct answer to an incorrect one) but Diane keeps winning at the morning TV show “the Wake Show” done by the Cruise Director. I keep submitting the answers to the questions on 2 sheets with my name on one and Diane’s on the other and so far Diane has won 4 times and my record is still 0. Now, we’ll have to go and have a dessert from Sabatini’s. Can’t wait for that.
We all took the City Drive, the Pearl and Blue Lagoon tour. The City tour was nice and then we arrived at the Pearl, which offered stunning views from the fourth-floor observation deck for a 360* view of the city. After taking all the pictures we wanted, we headed to the Blue Lagoon. Many passengers had taken the tour to swim in the lagoon, a geothermal spa, but our tour only observed them in the water. So, here half of the people are in coats and hats and the other half are in bathing suits. I took quite a lot of comical pictures of this contrast. Since I may never get back to this location, I was sure to buy a lapel pin for my collection and a magnet. Another drive back through the city and onto the ship. It rained all around us and I was able to capture many rainbows on this trip, while not getting wet. A few passengers have stated that they have seen whales, I have not been that fortunate. More fun onboard with trivia and good shows.
Monday, September 19, 2011
This was the day I was waiting for, the Giant’s Causeway. Up early and on the bus by 7:30 a.m. We immediately stopped for scones and tea in a beautiful small village. The countryside is green and beautiful. We were going down the Antrim Coast. We then went to Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge for a photo. The bridge itself was pretty far away from where we were stopped but I took a photo. Next stop, Dunluce Castle for a photo stop. It was funny that we were there for 20 minutes but we couldn’t go in the castle without paying 4 pounds. After what we spent for this excursion it was ridiculous that they didn’t include getting us into this castle. Lunch was at the Royal Court Hotel, beef, mashed and boiled potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and meringue dessert. This was topped off by a glass of Guinness. Finally we were off to the Giant’s Causeway, which are 40,000 polygonal columns of layered basalt. There were some spots where I wasn’t sure how to go forward because the rocks were on the edge of a sheer drop of a pretty high step for me. I was very careful, not wanting to fall and spend the rest of my vacation in a hospital in Northern Ireland. Local legend tells how it was actually the Giant Finn MacCool who created the Giant’s Causeway to challenge his Scottish rival Benandonner. Hope some of pictures turned out.
When we arrived it was overcast. We didn’t buy an excursion so we took the shuttle into town. Diane wasn’t feeling well and immediately went back to the ship. Marie, Priscilla and I went shopping near Trinity College. After about an hour it started to rain and Marie and Priscilla went back to the ship. I headed off to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which I was told was a 15 min. walk. By the time I arrived it had stopped raining. I was disappointed that you need 5 euro to get inside. It wasn’t that important since Jim & I had been there, so I took some photos and then walked back and went to the shopping mall. The shopping mall had beautiful architecture. We had to be onboard by 3:15 p.m., so we didn’t have long in Dublin. I found the people to be very friendly. All you had to do was open a map and someone was there offering to assist.
I had a wonderful tour. We went to the Edinburgh Castle. Saw Scotland’s crown jewels. While I was walking around there was a camera crew taking photos of 2 guys. One had a U.S. Olympics jacket on. I asked who they were and was told, Brian Clay and Jeremy Campbell. I haven’t wanted to use my computer time to look them up but will when I get home. We were then taken to the St. James Hotel for lunch. Then we had free time for shopping. I couldn’t find anything to buy. A complete enjoyable day. I’m still struggling with trivia. The evening show was a production number, “What a Swell Party.”
P.S. Brian Clay is the reigning Olympic champion for the decathlon and Jeremy Campbell is a Paralympic. He competed at the 2008 Summer Paralympics where he won a gold medal and set a world record in the men's Pentathlon.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Rough waters all night. Winds at 58 mph and swells at 25 ft. Everyone is walking like drunken sailors. Hate having to take a shower holding onto the railing. We’re all having a good time. I lost at both trivia’s today and at the 50’s Music trivia. Watched the 3x World Hula Hoop Record Holder in the Piazza. Photos to follow. Went to the comedian and laughed a lot. Did my usual, eat, trivia, eat, afternoon tea, trivia and then eat again. I was told today that I will be invited to the 40 most travelled passenger’s cocktail party. Woohoo. Another day at sea tomorrow. The weather is due to improve. Can’t wait to get to land.
Up at 7:45 a.m. to meet everyone for breakfast. I’m not going on an excursion in Oslo as we did an excursion when we were here for the Baltic cruise and saw the highlights. They made an announcement “Over the next 48 hours the wind and seas are expected to worsen as a result of post tropical depression Katia.” We will leave earlier from Oslo, cancel the stop in Kristiansand and go directly to Greenock (Glasgow/Edinburgh) on Wednesday. I walked to the Akerhus Castle, then window shopping on Karl Johansgate road. There were many parks and beautiful fountains. I brought my raincoat (with lining) but the weather was overcast and I carried my coat. I walked to the Royal Palace and saw the Changing of the Guard. As I was walking on the side of the Palace I was approaching a man with a Yankee’s cap on (I thought, Great, An American) and asked him was there anything back there worth seeing. He said with a British accent, the back of the Palace. He then proceeded to show me his picture of the doors on the back of the Palace. I then went and took a picture also. I got back to the ship just in time before it started raining. The prices in Norway are still very high. Their prices are 5 times ours literally. I was looking at anything that was 50 kroner, which would be $10.00. The only thing I could find was a magnet or key chain for $9.00, which I don’t need. Lost at trivia. My team had 14/20 and the winners had 15/20. Dinner was good. The evening show was a guy who billed himself as a Mind Magician (read peoples minds) and a very good singer.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Got picked up at the house at 6:45 a.m. Almost forgot my coat, which would have been a disaster. We had a great drive to the airport. Thank goodness we left early because we had long lines. The other ladies used wheelchairs which did get us all through security quickly. Had my Starbucks and we were off to Boston. Since I did my usual and went to bed at 2 a.m., I did sleep some on the flight. I had some tea and some chips. I was surprised when we got to Boston that we had to go through security again. Two hour layover in Boston. The overhead compartments and under the seats on Icelandair seemed smaller. After backing away from the gate we stopped. The Captain stated that while we were backing up we broke a light and needed to return to the gate and have it checked. All I could think was that were going to be late leaving and would miss our connecting flight. But it wasn’t long (1/2 hour) and we took off. I had some tea, did not purchase any food but ate the peanut butter crackers that I brought. Watched some TV and got more sleep. The Captain made up some time and we arrived in Reykjavik at midnight. We had an hour until our next flight. Had a cup of tea and didn’t purchase any food. I think I slept the most on the last flight partially due that my in-flight entertainment screen didn’t work. We arrived in Copenhagen on time at 6:00 a.m. We were whisked off to the terminal where we sat until noon. They provided tea and coffee. So, more tea. I couldn’t get to the buffet fast enough. We’re having a great time. After dinner the ladies went to bed early and I went to play trivia, where we won a lanyard. I then went to the Welcome Aboard Show. Finally off to bed at 10:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
The spring flower and garden festival brings colors and topiaries to all of Epcot and some of them are truly outstanding.
We arrived about noon and went to guest services and made reservations at the French Restaurant, one of our favorites. for 1:30. We walked around in amazement as we admired the wonderful topiaries of most of the Disney characters.
For lunch we also have their fixe price menu which includes French onion soup, a wonderful sandwich and a great dessert, and as usual it was great.
We were surprised at how busy the park was, with half the people being kids and college students, but we finally realized that it was spring break time. Again it was a wonderful day and as always we look forward to our next visit.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Now that we are home, and looking back on our Amazon trip, several things stood out about the trip. First, we love the Royal Princess and small ship cruising. We loved not waiting in line for anything, getting up close and personal with the cruise staff and sitting with Captain Ivan Jerman at the Captains lunch. Our entertainment on board was excellent, but as always, a magician who does the same tricks. We got to know most of the dancers quite well, our favorite being Natasha the dance captain from Sydney, Australia. We were again fortunate with good table mates and outstanding trivia partners.
Perhaps the highlight of the trip was an idea that Judy came up with before we left. We had been on basically this same trip three years ago and as always we had taken a ton of pictures and we were again going back to the village of Boca Da Valaria. Boca is a small village of about 75-100 people that live along the Amazon in very small houses on stilts to stay above the rising water of the Amazon. Before we left we printed up about 30 of the pictures that we had taken of families and kids in this village. When we stopped there this time we went back to the same houses and gave them to the families and of course to the kids we could find. They were all thrilled. And again while we were there we took more pictures, had them printed up on the ship and took them back to the village again on our way home. Again, we got the same reaction, they loved them, especially the two girls that posed for Judy.
Another highlight, THIS TIME I CAUGHT A PIRANAH!!!
Monday, January 4, 2010
I just wanted to jot down a few things about visiting Brazil. First you need a visa. You can get a visa by using a surrogate company, these are people that you pay to travel to a Brazilian embassy and get the visa for you. These are typically expensive ($300 or more) and take time. Brazil sets up their fees to match what the country of residence charges Brazilian citizens, which in the case of the United States is $100. We personally visited the Brazilian Embassy in Miami, dropped our passports off one day, and were able to pick up our visa and passports the next morning, total coast $100 each. The visa is good for five years. Another requirement for visiting Brazil is a yellow fever shot. This can be gotten from your local doctor or in our case from the Dept of Health. This shot is good for ten years. If you are on a cruise ship that stops in Brazil and have failed to get the visa, they will not let you onboard. The yellow fever shot can normally be gotten onboard, but should not be counted on.
Friday, December 18, 2009
We have booked a 28 day round trip cruise a thousand miles up the Amazon on the Royal Princess. This will be our first time on a small Princess ship. The Royal Princess holds about 675 people. We have booked an outside cabin for the first time in a long time, because the rate was the same as an inside. We did find out just how good being a past passenger of Princess gets you great rates. A friend indicated an interest to go on the same cruise with us, when they tried to book the same as we did, it was fifty percent higher and because of that decided not to go. When we get closer to our departure date of January 30th, we will start a separate blog for the trip.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
We just returned from our second trip through the Panama Canal and what a treat it was. It was our first cruise on the Island Princess and it didn't disappoint. The ship was designed to go through the Canal so it is a little longer and a little narrower than some of the larger ships, but its passenger space is extremely good. It has two large showrooms, and the normal run of bars and lounges. Now for a real deal, after returning home we got a brochure from Princess that that showed an inside cabin from Los Angeles to Ft Lauderdale for fifteen days for only $699. We are almost tempted to do it again because we love ship life. I checked the Princess site today, signed in and seen that we have sailed with Princess 348 days, our next cruise will put us over a year. We are looking at doing two ten day back to back cruises in the southern Caribbean in November. We are also looking at a Greek Isles and transatlantic again in the spring.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
We have spent the last ten days or so going through Yosemite Park, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. Our national parks are wonderful, beautiful and accessible. As a senior the best value for getting into the parks is a ten dollar lifetime senior pass. This pass lets everyone in the car enter all national parks. The views in Yosemite are amazing with waterfalls and majestic vistas. Of course the Tetons stand out in their snow covered peaks. Yellowstone with its wildlife makes you keep your eyes peeled at all times. Mount Rushmore with all of its viewing places upgraded is also enduring. Try the national parks and enjoy.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
We spent two days in Sedona and are now thinking of trading our timeshare for something there. We loved the quaintness of the community, the great restaurants and the fantastic view. First we had a good hotel, Sedona Inn and Suites where we met a wonderful concierge when we checked in and she pointed us to the things to see that afternoon. We went to Cathedral park to get a good look at Cathedral Rock and spent sundown at the Sedona Airport with lots of people overlooking Sedona while the sun set. The red rock formations in around Sedona are mesmerizing and I am sure we took at least 500 pictures over the two days. We found several wonderful restaurants and of course Judy had to shop in the quaint shops for souvenirs. We will look forward to our next visit to Sedona with great enthusiasm.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Well, we are a week into our ultimate road trip for 2009 and we have already enjoyed the beaches of the Panhandle of Florida, the wonders of the French Quarter in New Orleans, but also four days in Texas. Neither Judy or I had spent much time in the heart of Texas, but on this trip we did and really enjoyed it. We visited with friends in Houston and went to the Battleship Texas, Visited the LBJ Library in Austin, which I believe is one of the best tourist values available, it was not only free but extremely interesting. We visited the Alamo in San Antonio and extremely enjoyed the River Walk their as well. We will be leaving Texas today heading for Tombstone, AZ, but will have wonderful memories of Texas and the friendly people we met there.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
We got home on Saturday, and have been lazy the last couple of days but the planning has started for our next road trip. This trip will last about 5 weeks, maybe more and take us from Florida through New Orleans, San Antonio, Santa Fe, Sedona, Los Angeles, San Jose, Yellowstone Park, Black Hills of South Dakota, Rochester, Minn., Door County in Wisconsin and through Upper Michigan and then Home. We will see a Grandson in San Jose and Grandchildren in Rochester. We know that there will be lots of unscheduled stop along the way, not sure what they will be yet, but do know we will find something interesting. Judy uses Microsoft Streets and Trips to layout our tentative route, here is a link to it. Microsoft Streets and Trips As always we are very excited about getting back on the road again
Saturday, May 16, 2009
We know that the Derby was run last week, but definitely wanted to see Churchill Downs. We found the place quite amazing and if you are not a bettor, a real value. Free parking starts it all off with a cart to take you to the main gate. For Seniors entrance the fee is $1. We bought a program for $2 and that is all we needed to spend, we did have some lunch which was reasonable and we did place three $2 bets of which one was a winner. We were able to get up close and personal to the horses and jockeys both in the paddock and the winners circle. We spent all day there and had a wonderful time. On the day we were there it was very quiet and empty but we still had fun people watching and all inquires to the staff were met with quick and smiley response. I would recommend Churchill Downs as a day trip anytime whether you gamble or not.